Tony Winner Rocco Landesman Exiting Role as NEA Chairman
By Adam Hetrick
Tony Award-winning producer Rocco Landesman will step down from his role as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts at the end of 2012, the government agency confirmed Nov. 20.
Landesman, formerly the president of Jujamcyn Theaters, was appointed his role as NEA chairman in 2009. He is departing, as planned, after serving one term. He succeeded Dana Gioia.
"My intention has always been to serve one term, and we have been able to accomplish more than I had ever thought possible: sparking a national movement around creative placemaking, forging significant relationships with other federal agencies, creating an unprecedented healing arts partnership with the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and increasing both the scope and impact of our research office," Landesman said in a statement.
"We have continued to support and strengthen the entire spectrum of arts in this country," he continued, "and we have been able to expand the national conversation through convenings, traditional media, and new technology. I am proud and honored to have served alongside such an amazing group of dedicated public servants."
Landesman, the Tony-winning producer of Mel Brooks' The Producers, added a final comic touch: "The time has come for me to become a cliché: I turned 65, am going to retire, and cannot wait to spend more time in Miami Beach."
Joan Shigekawa will serve as the acting head of the NEA until a permanent successor for Landesman can be found.
His credits as a producer include Doubt, Proof, Love! Valour! Compassion!, Angels in America, The Grapes of Wrath, The Piano Lesson, Jersey Boys, Big River; as well as the Tony-winning revivals of Guys and Dolls, Sweeney Todd, Nine, Kiss Me, Kate and the 1999 revival of Death of a Salesman.
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